For the present year 2014, the biotechnology companies in Germany are expecting moderate turnover growth. Roughly 50 % of companies want to expand their research and investment activities. This forecast by DIB (the German association of biotechnology industries) excludes plant biotechnology, because of the limitations to this sector’s innovative potential in Germany.
Biotechnology companies in Germany are expecting a moderate turnover growth for the present year 2014. This is the outcome of the latest trend survey among the member companies of the German association of biotechnology industries (Deutsche Industrievereinigung Biotechnologie – DIB). The survey was presented today at DIB’s annual press conference in Frankfurt. DIB chairman Dr Matthias Braun: “The results of the survey give reason for optimism. Biotech companies had a good start in 2014. 62 percent of companies are anticipating even better business in the months to come. Roughly one third of the respondents think that their business situation will remain unchanged. At the moment, only around 4 percent of companies are expecting a drop in business.” This forecast comprises undertakings from the sectors of industrial and medical biotechnology. By contrast, there is no longer any value creation in plant biotechnology in Germany. Braun: “There are major limitations to the innovative strength of plant biotechnology in this country. This impacts mainly small and mid-sized biotechnology companies and plant breeders. Obviously, this poses a problem for the creation of a bio-economy in Germany.”
In the DIB survey, slightly under 60 percent of the surveyed companies stated that their company sales had risen since the beginning of 2014. Compared with the previous year in Germany, foreign business developed more favourably than domestic business.
Nearly 50 percent of the respondent companies are planning to expand their research activities in the present year. Over 40 percent want to keep their research budget constant, while only 9 percent are planning to reduce their R&D expenditure.
50 percent of the respondent companies want to increase their investment activities in 2014. Another 45 percent intend to keep their investment budgets at the same level in the present year.
In the German biotechnology industry, employment remained constant in the first months of 2014. Almost 50 percent of the surveyed companies stated that there was no change in the number of employees. Over one third of the companies hired more staff. One fifth of the companies cut jobs. According to biotechnologie.de – the information platform of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) – the German biotechnology industry had 35,400 staff in the year 2013.
Shortage of qualified staff:
At present, nearly 80 percent of the surveyed biotech companies have no problems in hiring qualified staff. In some individual cases, it is difficult for companies to find well-trained laboratory personnel (6 percent) or technicians and scientists (ca. 15 percent). But a shortage of qualified staff is no overall issue in biotechnology. Quite the contrary, the situation has even improved slightly in comparison with the previous year.
Over 95 percent of the respondent biotech companies stated that it was not difficult for them to attract outside capital. But start-ups and small and mediumsized enterprises have major problems in securing venture capital.
The clear majority of the surveyed companies (ca. 70 percent) called for an elimination of fiscal obstacles to innovation. This means, inter alia, the introduction of fiscal incentives for research in Germany.
An overview of business indicators for German biotech companies for the year 2013 as well as the trend forecast for the German biotech sector for the overall year 2014 can be found in the download section at the top of this page under the point "Ergänzende Downloads" . At the same place, you will find the complete statement of DIB chairman Dr Matthias Braun (sorry, only available in German language). Finally, a set of photos from the press conference in high resolution stands ready for you to be downloaded..